Indian Ocean Tuna – SIOTI

Fishery Improvement Projects

Indian Ocean Tuna – SIOTI

  • Species Name: Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), and Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus).
  • Location/Region: Western Indian Ocean
  • Gear Type: Purse seine
  • Volume: 240,000 mt

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Indian Ocean Tropical Tuna Purse Seine

Sustainable Indian Ocean Tuna Initiative (SIOTI)

FIP Stage: 5 (Improvements on the Water)
Progress Rating: A (Advanced Progress)
Start Date: April 2017
Last Updated: March 2022

The Indian Ocean is one of the world’s most economically important fishing areas – now accounting for 20% of the world’s production of tuna. Each year around one million tonnes of skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna are caught within the waters of the Indian Ocean, providing a source of protein and income for tens of millions of people across the globe.

The Sustainable Indian Ocean Tuna Initiative (SIOTI) was jointly established by major tuna processors, and producer organizations and their fishing vessels in the region, along with the support of WWF. The goal is to improve the management of tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean so that in the future, consumers can be assured that the purse-seine tuna they purchase is harvested sustainably.

This fishery is predominately used for export to the European market and the vessels are flagged to Spain, France, Italy, Seychelles, and Mauritius.

Tuna are highly migratory, which presents unique challenges for this fishery. The development of international management measures across countries in the Indian Ocean is critical to ensure that tuna are fished sustainably and that target stocks are at healthy population levels. As this fishery relies on fish aggregating devices (FADs) to catch skipjack, reducing the number and subsequently the impact of FADs on the wider marine environment is a key task for the FIP.

Since 2016, the active involvement of FIP Stakeholders, including the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), has catalyzed improvements in this fishery against the Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.

© Jürgen Freund / WWF


FIP efforts address governance, fishing practices, and environmental impacts of the fishery so that it can meet the MSC standard. This work is steered by FIP participants and FIP stakeholders and includes:
  • Forming a collaboration between governments, industry, and fleets to bring about improvements in the fishery;

  • Addressing the shortfalls in stock health, ecosystem health, and management of the fishery by taking action toward meeting the objectives described by the Improvement Performance Goals (IPGs);

  • Improving the fishery to a point at which it can undergo (and pass) full assessment by the MSC by the end of March 2022;

  • Working with regional management to implement plans to rebuild the overfished yellowfin stock as the lack of a universally agreed harvest strategy and harvest control rules hold back recovery of the stock.


We encourage action across the supply chain to support FIP progress. A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP.
  • Federazione Nazionale Delle Imprese Di Pesca (FEDERPESCA)

  • Organización Interprofesional del Atún (INTERATUN)

  • Isabella Fishing

  • Ocean Products Seychelles LTD

  • Thai Union

  • Transcontinental Food Company (TFC)

  • Thunnus Overseas Group


The Marine Stewardship Council uses 28 performance indicators to assess the sustainability of fisheries. The chart represents the percentage of indicators that would likely pass, pass with conditions for improvement, or fail upon the fishery’s full assessment.

Indian Ocean Tropical Tuna (SIOTI) FIP Status

Initial Assessment

Implementing Improvements

We use a step-wise process to evaluate the fishery’s performance and identify sustainability issues, and then to implement improvements and report results. Want to dive deeper into this FIP’s progress on each of the MSC performance indicators? Visit


The fishery has achieved the following impacts through improved practices and management
  • Established the FAD watch programme in the Seychelles. This focusses on the tracking and recovery of FADs in certain areas of the Seychelles archipelago.

  • Completed silky shark management plan, which is expected to be adopted by fleets.

  • Regional Observer Scheme (ROS) e-reporting tools and training for bycatch reporting has been supported by SIOTI.

  • Common Code of Practice for Endangered, Threatened, and Protected species has been agreed by fleets. This is comprised of the strongest Code of Practices from fleet members.

©Kyle LaFerriere / WWF-US

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October 3, 2019

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